Over 13,000 people read my recent post on physician burnout. Thank you. Clearly, folks are interested in this topic. Smart researchers are examining provider stress and burnout. Readers mentioned several resources including Let My Doctor Practice and Physicians Working Together. I’m not a researcher. I’m not a practicing physician. What can I contribute to the discussion?
When I was still a clinic doc, my greatest frustration was the electronic medical record. We transitioned from transcription to the EMR during my clinic tenure. I refused to develop my own “dot phrases” and “smart phrases,” generic chunks of documentation that could simply be dumped into anyone’s chart. I was my own transcriptionist. I listened to the patient’s story and translated it into a coherent SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) note.
A good SOAP note contains just the right number of words; It’s descriptive but not over-wrought. You see into the patient’s mind, into her version of events. You add details of the physical exam and then you make an assessment – This is what I’m thinking based on the data I’ve collected. And here is the plan that I’ve made with input from my patient.
Medicine is storytelling.
For the next few weeks, I’ll tell the reverse stories, the backstories, the stories beneath the white coat.
I’ve already interviewed a family doc, an internist, and a medical spouse. Anonymity is critical. Squeaky wheels tend to be removed. Anticipate that I might alter identifying data to protect those who speak the truth.
If you’d like to stay in the conversation, please sign up for my blog (below or up on the right-hand side). You’ll get a confirming email RIGHT AWAY saying Thanks For Subscribing! If you don’t see the confirmation, check your spam folder.
Eir is the Norse goddess of healing. May she watch over this space.